Joomla is a wonderful framework for building all sorts of websites, but over the years they had hard decisions to make: Keep the site backward compatible and miss on the wealth of new features the web continues to offer on an almost daily basis, or make a clean cut with the past to provide a new and improved platform compatible with all the latest technologies?
What if you could have both?
ContiCreative specializes in "migrating" Joomla website from its older versions (1.5, 1.6, 2.5) to the new version 3.x.
Let's answer this question in terms anyone with a little bit of computer experience can relate to:
Remember when your Mac or PC computer (desktop or laptop) had to be "upgraded? Maybe Apple or Microsoft released a new version of their Operating System (OS). You checked your computer specs and realized that your old computer could easily run the new version of the OS. You downloaded it and you then performed an "Upgrade".
You kept all your valuable files, even most of your programs, but after restarting your old computer you were greeted by a new, sleeker interface and often new features to make your work easier.
Let's say instead that you finally grew tired of your old laptop and decided to buy a new one. Maybe your laptop was 5 or 6 years old and running Windows XP. You look, but every Laptop for sale is running Windows 10 these days. What to do? Will your programs run on the new computer? How do you move your files from the old laptop to the new one?
Without going into the technicalities of how to perform that task, what you are about to do is performing a "Migration". You are not updating your computer. You bought a new one with a new OS mounted on it. All you are doing is moving your old files over to the new machine and install your old programs on it as well. In some cases the process is painless, in other cases you discover a program that run on your old Windows XP laptop won’t run as well on the new Windows 10 Laptop. You may have to make some compromises, but the end result will be a faster, more reliable and more productive machine.
That process is not an update, because there is no existing software to update. We call this a "Migration". Does a Joomla Migration work exactly the same? Not quite, but the basic idea is similar.
In some cases, we had to rethink the way the site worked. For instance, we used to have an advanced "Contact us" page using a popular (at the time) extension for Joomla. At some point, that company stopped working on their software and consequently we had to redesign our Contact Us Area to reflect the new technology.
No two websites are alike and consequently no two migrations are the same. If you are still running an older version of Joomla, it's likely one of these days your site will be hacked or your Web Hosting Company will ask you to upgrade it because the old code in your website could be a liability for their other customers. Maybe you are seeing new errors due to hosting software that is too new for the old version your Joomla website expects.
Either way, it may be time to Migrate your website. Contact Us and ask us for a quote or keep reading the short FAQ below.
The main reasons to migrate are usually security, features and compatibility.
Security is the main reason by far, as older websites (be they Joomla! or any other CSM) become more and more obsolete and therefore easier to break into.
But security is far from the only consideration. Older websites usually look old and dated and they lack certain modern features, such as responsive design, that web users have come to expect.
Migrating your site not only foture-proofs your website, but it will also allow you to spruce up your design, make your website Responsive (i.e. Mobile compatible so it will work on phones, tablets, etc. natively) and allow you to use the latest technologies such as web fonts and more.
Depending on the age of your website, you may already be seeing errors and other artifacts.
It isn't only the Joomla! software that gets obsolete, but Web Servers get updated at almost the same rate and eventually your old website built on Joomla 1.5 or 2.5 not only will lack vital security patches, but also will grow less compatible with web server software. Especially PHP.
At the time Joomla 1.5 websites were built, PHP was at version 5.2.x. Today most servers are running version 5.5 and soon version 5.6 or even version 6.x will be the standard.
Even if your site looks like it is still working, or we are able to reduce or eliminate the number of visible errors, we would be just buying time. One day the website will either get hacked or simply stop working.
In a Joomla migration, instead of updating your old Joomla website from version x to Version Y, we first install an empty website with the latest available version of Joomla, then we extract all your important "content" (Content is always considered as Text, Articles, Data, Images, Graphics, etc.) from the old site to the new one.
The basic Migration is often easy, but some things can make it tricky. Things like the design of the old site. The new version of Joomla likely uses the very latest Mobile technologies so your site looks and works its best on mobile devices like phones, Pads, etc. If your old site used older technologies or was not "Responsive" (Mobile compatible) then the new website will require a new design.
Essentially the migration process itself is not very complicated. Jooml;a! is a database driven website framework, so most of the text, menu links and other content you see on the website is saved in the database.
What we do is we build an empty Joomla! website using the very latest version available, then we connect to the old website and a script does the rest.
If that was the extent of it, anyone could do it. However, there is a bit of a rub: Most older templates and a lot of the site design may not be compatible with the new website template.
Until recently, we migrated many Joomla 2.5 websites to Joomla 3.x and we were lucky that their template was still working fine with Joomla! 3. Older sites were not as lucky.
More recently, trends and designs have evolved yet more, making a migration a great opportunity for a website redesign. However, that's not always necessary.
We have done many Migrations over the years. This very site started its life as a Joomla 1.0 website and is now running the latest Joomla version. It has passed through 1.5, 1.6, 2.5 and 3.x. Each time we decided to redesign the site to reflect the latest trends and to make it work as well as possible on all devices. Eventually, we had to bite the bullet and restart from scratch.
Cost depends a lot on the complexity of the original website. A simple blog with a plain template, could cost as little as $300. A more involved website, with a lot of modules, complex designs or customization, may cost up to $1000 or more.
In some cases, the cost could approach that of a brand new website, if the old site has a webstore that also needs to be migrated. In that case, the double migration is not only more complex and time consuming, but special care needs to be taken to preserve orders processed during the migration process, which could last for a week or more.
In some cases we have counseled out clients to keep their website for as long as it worked, and we worked with them in strenghtening its security. That's not an option we can guarantee, but if it saves a year or two it may be enough time to allow for furtehr planning and rethink options.
You can trust ContiCreative with your Joomla Migration needs. We offer Migrations from as far back as Joomla 1.0, through Joomla 2.x.